India legend Sachin Tendulkar has labelled Hansie Cronje as the toughest bowler he’s ever faced.
At the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit over the weekend, Tendulkar identified his encounters with Cronje as his toughest battles, despite facing some of the best bowlers in cricket history.
‘People don’t believe me, but yes, there have been times when I was well set and Hansie came on to bowl … I would be extra vigilant,’ said Tendulkar.
‘I told my partner, I will play off Allan Donald or Shaun Pollock, you please deal with Hansie for me. He has got me out so many times.’
According to Hindustan Times website, Cronje dismissed Tendulkar three times in the 32 ODIs and five times in the 11 Tests.
Tendulkar also mentioned former Proteas all-rounder Jacques Kallis, saying: ‘When he came into bat, he would always stand and stare at the grass and we would joke about it. But without doubt, it was his focus and concentration.’
In total, Tendulkar scored 15 921 runs in 200 Test matches at an average of 53.78 and retired in 2013.
Cronje took 43 Test wickets in his 68 Tests and 114 ODI scalps in his 188 matches and was banned in 2000 after admitting to match-fixing. He died tragically at the age of 32, in 2002.